Mark Rothko Abstract Art

Mark Rothko emerged during the 1940s to create a new form of abstract painting. My goal was to have students think about the visual “weight” of colors.
1. I gave students lots of cardboard rectangles that were all 11" wide, and varying heights. On a 9" x 12" sheet of paper, they were to draw in pencil three separate rectangles that were of different widths – a large, medium and small.
2. The students choose 3 oil pastels, specifically ones that were very different from each other. All colors have a different visual weight to them, generally darker colors are heavy and brighter colors are light. The students filled the lightest weight color in the smallest rectangle, the medium in medium size and the heaviest in the largest rectangle. If they have trouble deciding, encourage them to just make their best guess. The point is for them to start thinking of colors from a new angle, not to be worried about right or wrong answers.
3. Lastly, a fourth color is chosen and colored in all around the rectangles, overlapping on the edges to get a painterly look. Heavy coloring, as always, looks best. 
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